The Climb

Exhausted and shaking in the pouring rain at 2,000 ft above ground on Saturday, I started to question why in the world I signed up for the Upper Yosemite Falls hike in ominous weather.  But I was there and couldn’t turn back.  As I passed many climbers both ascending and descending I found myself examining their physique and overall appearance with a critical eye.  How did I stack up to my fellow climbers?  Was I more in shape or less in shape?  What could I do better?

And then it hit me.  Why did I attack this feat?  For the Competition – the Challenge – the Bragging Rights – the Bucket List.  If I didn’t go for it then I wouldn’t have felt that awesome feeling of accomplishment when I reached the top and looked out to see this magnificent waterfall.

As I stood there in awe, I started to draw parallels to life careers.  As in life and careers, if you don’t try new things and continue to challenge yourself, you’ll never know how high you can climb.  Your job can often feel stagnant and monotonous, but it’s your responsibility to get out of your daily routine and learn new things.  It can be as simple as asking your boss to take on additional work or to spend time with coworkers outside of your specific functional role.  While it may seem taxing and unnecessary, the additional work and exposure might give you a leg up against your peers and catapult your career to new heights.

Or it might be time to spread your wings and pursue a new opportunity.  It may seem daunting to update your resume and brush up your interview skills, but you’ll never know what great new chapter you might be missing out on until you take the risk, put in the time, and explore.

Growing and accomplishing feats in your career is not an easy stroll in the park.  There will be what seem to be insurmountable peaks and treacherous valleys along the way, but once you have reached your goal, you will have that feeling that no one can take away from you.

And then you can brag, check it off the bucket list, and start attacking your next challenge.